Traditionally, signet rings used to be a signifier of power: noble families would wear styles that bore the family crest and imprint it upon letters or legal documents with wax seals, in place of a written signature. Such pieces would be passed down the generations of a family line and were an indicator of authenticity and societal standing. Signet rings also have a rich history across myriad cultures – with many examples dating as far back as Ancient Egypt. So it is testament to these rings’ unique allure that they have retained their relevance in a digital world; after all, there is little need for a wax seal on WhatsApp or as an email sign-off.
Today, it is the signet ring’s perfect canvas for self-expression that continues to make it a covetable piece of jewelry. “A signet ring is the ideal piece for adding real personality to your fine-jewelry collection – crests, meaningful symbols and precious stones can all give a sense of your individuality,” says Edwina Hilton, fine jewelry and watches buyer at NET-A-PORTER.
In this spirit, Yvonne Léon’s signet rings have become something of a cult hit. Available in paintbox-bright enamel, ethereal mother of pearl and dusted with scintillating diamonds, designs are crafted from 9-karat gold and intended for your pinky finger. Much like the signet rings of our ancestors, a mother-of-pearl style will accompany you through the decades; effortlessly timeless, it’s a ring that will have daughters and granddaughters hankering after it, too. Those who want a hero piece that captures this timeless zeitgeist will also appreciate Léon’s neon yellow, pink and lime-green iterations – staples to offset SS22’s rainbow-hued runway collections.
Signet rings also have a talismanic history, and Azlee’s ‘Cosmic’ signet ring will appeal to lovers of astrology and celestial motifs. The crescent moon is said to symbolize dreams, and is surrounded by a gleaming constellation, with a delicate diamond accent upon the lodestar. Hand-cast from 18-karat gold, this beautiful, solid ring has huge tactile appeal – in fact, it’s difficult not to run your fingers across its flat, star-strewn sky; wear it with a medley of bead bracelets in bold colors.
Meanwhile, inspired by the old-world charm of vintage and antique jewels, Jade Trau’s creations reflect its founder’s own legacy: Jade Lustig is a fifth-generation diamantaire and was taught to make exquisite jewels by her grandfather. Her ‘Sophisticate’ signet ring is crafted from 18-karat gold with a matte finish, providing a refreshing contrast to the intense gleam of the diamond at its heart. Lustig’s designs feel imbued with a sense of history, yet command unwavering attention in the present moment – the ultimate signet ring by our standards.